The argument against copyleft, or for BSD

Daniel Pocock daniel at
Mon Jul 13 08:54:05 UTC 2015

Hash: SHA256

On 13/07/15 00:39, Darryl Plank wrote:
> Hi Nico,
> Le dimanche 12 juillet 2015, 12:04:32 Nico Rikken a écrit :
>> Dear discussion readers,
>> Today I stumbled on an argument for the use of the BSD-license,
>> as hosted on the FreeBSD website, originating from 2013. [1]
>> [1]
> The article seems to make essentially three arguments:
> The first is that if a group of developers think they might later
> wish to make a proprietary version of their software, the BSD
> license will allow them to do so without facing legal obstacles
> while the GPL license can sometimes impose such obstacles. (The
> main problem with making a proprietary for theGPL license is when
> one or more contributors disagrees to such a move.)

However, choosing the BSD license is not the only way out of this
problem.  An alternative is to set up some entity to own the
intellectual property and all the developers then sign a CLA giving
the entity the right to decide on licensing changes in the future.
Whether the entity is a non-profit structure or a company with
shareholders becomes an interesting topic.

> The second is that if a group of developers want to impose a
> software standard and see it become ubiquitous, the BSD license (or
> a similar license), which allows proprietary software companies and
> developers to use the code might be more efficient than the GPL
> license in spreading and imposing the standard.

This has worked will with reSIProcate, the VOCAL license is BSD-like.

Somebody can still make an application that is GPL licensed and uses
reSIProcate as a library.

> The third is that if a free software project is abandoned by its
> developers and no new developers want to take on the project, a BSD
> license allows a proprietary software company to take on the
> project.  This allows new versions of the software to remain
> available, even if they're no longer free.

GPL also allows proprietary software companies to take on a project
that has been abandoned.  The vendor just has to make sure they
observe the terms of the GPL.
Version: GnuPG v1


More information about the Discussion mailing list